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tv   The Ed Show  MSNBC  June 23, 2011 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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what people are going to get indicted. this was a day of -- a strange day in the news but one with a lot of late breaking and fast moving stuff and all of these stories are things that we're going to be staying on because these are all things that have a lot of dangling threads. now it's time for "the ed show." thanks very much for being with us tonight. good evening, americans. welcome to "the ed show" tonight from minneapolis. a major victory for the republicans in new jersey. within the last hour the assembly passed a controversial budget bill that will make workers pay thousands more for health care and pensions in that state. the attack on the middle class continues. the state assembly has sided with governor chris christie and has the bill that will take away collective bargaining rights and thousands of dollars out of the pay checks of teachers, firefighters, and police officers. once again public workers are being turned into public enemy number one. you know where i'm fired up on
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this issue. this is "the ed show." let's get to work. >> eric canter pulled out of budget talks today. because he didn't get his way. >> mr. canter has made it clear that these conversations could continue if they take the tax hikes out of the conversation. >> now it's up to president obama and speaker boehner to make a deal. for the first time ever most american babies are nonwhite. according to the census. wait until the right wing finds out minorities are becoming the new majority. and in psycho talk tonight, rush limbaugh. >> a brilliant guy. now he's a brilliant military strategist. >> an outrageous comparison between president obama and hitler. he's in the zone tonight. good to have you with us tonight, folks. i guess i have to say right off the top that we need to really pay attention to this if we care about the american workers and american middle class. workers, first of all, are not the problem in this country.
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but once again, a first term republican governor. silencing their voices in the work place. just over an hour ago, the new jersey state assembly passed a bill which strips collective bargaining rights of public employees on their health care. the bill will also reduce benefits costing each of those workers thousands of dollars a year. n now, whether you like governor christie or not no matter what the polls are in new jersey the fact is this is a major victory for christie, a major victory for the republicans. but it is also an example of how the right wing has beaten some democrats into folding on the middle class. we'll get into that later on in this segment. where are the democrats? is it true that the democrats do stand up for the middle class? there were a number of them in this vote that turned the tables in the assembly. this is what workers all over
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the country are talking about. it's not just wisconsin. it's not just ohio. it's not just new jersey and florida. this is the attack by the right wing machine. this is their ideological agenda. they're not going after the corporations, these republican governors. they're not going after the wealthy. they're giving them the breaks. they're going after the workers. tonight's vote is a classic of what's going down in this country. over 8,000 public workers storm the grounds of the state capitol in trenton, new jersey today to protest the governor's dark vision for the state. other estimates of the crowd range about 15,000 people. they were passionate and they were spot on. the new jersey pension and benefits bill. passed the state senate earlier this week with the help of some democrats who basically stabbed the public workers in the back siding with the governor. today some democrats in the assembly i guess you could say twisted that knife. the new law could cost middle class public employees up to
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$6,000 a year. middle classers getting hit with that kind of bill? that's a real hit for many families. but it's pocket change for a guy who takes the state helicopter to watch his kid play baseball. now, take a look at this bill, folks. the deal eliminates collective bargaining on health care for 550,000 public workers. it requires workers to pay up to 35% of their health care costs and make additional pension contributions. the bill would also eliminate the automatic cost of living adjustment for retired police officers, firefighters, teachers, and state and local government employees in new jersey's six pension systems. this is going to be a model for what other states are going to do. the overall impact of the increased pension and the health care contributions would range from $1,142 a year for a public employee making 25 grand a year to $6,058 for an employee
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earning $65,000 a year. hold it there. 65 grand a year. bills are going up when it comes to education, when it comes to health care, when it comes to energy. just basic kitchen table living expenses. you make it 65 grand a year? are you willing to give up another $6,000 to get some health care in this country? that's the way it's going to be for public employees in new jersey. are they getting $6,000 from the wealthy? no. they're getting the tax cuts. where's the shared sacrifice and where in the hell are the democrats? at the rally today there were chants of kill the bill. one union leader put it this way. this is a war for survival. we're seeing a thoroughly coordinated campaign to destroy america's working class. thousands of state employees were at today's rally, religious leaders there as well, as well as state lawmakers. democratic assemblyman joseph crion said this. some people say this is about the soul of the democratic
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party. i agree. you know what? so do i. that's because some democrats crossed over to join republicans in support of the bill both in the senate and assembly. it's a huge problem. any democrat siding with governor christie and the republicans on this issue is not good for the rest of the country because this sets the template. but let's not lose sight of mr. shared sacrifice himself, the governor of new jersey. he was the first one, and give him credit. if you're a righty you got to love this guy. this is why these people came in from iowa and wanted this guy to run for president. this is why the righties in this country want this guy, because he doesn't back down. and he finds a way to get some democrats onboard to go after middle classers in this country. forget the polls in new jersey. if this doesn't set the table for 2012 for middle class workers in this country, i don't know what will. it's ohio, the senate bill five
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there. wisconsin, all the things going on. it's down in florida where governor scott is going wild on the middle class. i mean, is this the america you want? middle classers, do you feel like you have a say? 2012 is about your financial survival. get your phones out. i want to know what you think. tonight's survey question is, should unions punish new jersey democrats who are siding with governor chris christie? text a for yes, text b for no to 622639 and of course you can always go to our new blog at ed.msnbc and comment. we'll have the results later on in the show. staying with new jersey let's talk about the new jersey state director for communication workers of america, hettie rosen stein. great to have you with us. i appreciate your time. let's talk about the politics first before we talk about the workers. why did the democrats side with governor christie on this if it's going to take $6,000 away from somebody who's making $
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$65,000 a year? where are these democrats? >> it's a really horrendous thing we have in new jersey. we actually had a democrat sponsor this bill. we have a group of democratic leaders who come, who are controlled by a machine in south jersey and they came out with a vengeance. they collaborated with chris christie and they attacked us. it is a very sad day in new jersey. in fact, we had 16 democratic heroes in the senate who opposed this and 32 in the assembly. they fought all day very, very hard, but they couldn't overcome this collaboration of 14 democrats. >> are you shocked at the democrats, at the behavior of the democrats? >> i'm horrified. >> i mean, it's not like this story hasn't gotten national attention. it's happening in all of these states where there are
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republican governors and give christie credit. this is a major victory tonight for him. are you shocked at this? >> it's a huge victory. we are horrified by it. and we can't believe the democratic leadership in senator sweeney and assembly speaker oliver would want to give the governor this kind of a victory. the fact is the governor's numbers have been plummeting in the last several weeks but these two democrats and a few, a handful of their allies, now have boosted the governor up for no good reason and in the -- and our members thousands of workers are -- and their families are going to be harmed terribly. yeah, we're pretty horrified. >> yeah. now what this means, folks, just because you have the right to collectively bargain doesn't mean that you're going to get everything you want. what this does is it silences the voices of those who were public employees, the teachers. they can't negotiate anymore for their health care benefits. so they are now going to be
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possibly victimized financially further on down the road. they're going to be dictated to exactly what kind of a package they're going to have. and i mean talk about fairness in the work place. this is not good for american workers. this is the template that the republicans want to follow when it comes to balancing state budgets across this country. now, what is the pushback on this for 2012? does this change the thinking that democrats aren't going to get the union support? >> well, in new jersey these legislators are up for election in 2011. in november. and i think there is no question that there is going to be a mar pushback against supporting any democrats that supported this bill. >> hettie, tell us, what does this bill do to someone making $25,000 a year? i mean, we said it with just over a thousand dollars and expenses, someone at $65,000, it's $6,000. you want to talk about
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disposable income going out the door i don't know how the hell the economy is going to recover in the state of new jersey if this is the way it's going to be. tell us, what does this really mean to the workers? >> a couple things. first of all, everyone will pay 2% more paid toward their pension. we already pay 5.5% of pay toward our pension. that equals about 60% of the cost of the pension. this will add 2% more. so we'll be paying 75% of the total cost of our pension. and then people will be paying somewhere generally on average 22% of the cost of health care and the really horrifying aspect of the bill, people are going to -- our retirees, it eliminates their cost of living adjustment for 30 years. we have many retirees who have retired on pensions of ten, 12, $15,000. you're 65 years old. air going to get that same ten, 12, $15,000 until you're 95. so this is a terrible bill. it has a horrible impact on
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middle class families. and there is no reason for it. the fact of the matter is five unions came forward with a plan to save hundreds of millions of dollars through collective bargaining and through cost containment and they had no interest in that plan. they really just wanted to union bust. they just wanted to eliminate our collective bargaining rights and they wanted to hurt us. >> well, there is an election as you said coming up in 2011 in november. it is going to be a big one in new jersey. and i think it sets the table as well for the 2012 big one in this country because this is really what we have been talking about for the last six months on this program and this is a big victory tonight for the right wing and a big victory for governor chris christie. hettie rosenstein, thank you for your time tonight. now there is another story out there related to the middle class in this country where they continue to keep fighting wages and collective bargaining rights and in states where republicans are really having difficulty
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passing laws that attack wage earners, what they're doing is attempting to rig elections with voter i.d. type stuff. democratic governor bev purdue was the last line of defense on voting rights in the state of north carolina. she vetoed the attempt by republicans to disenfranchise voters in that state. the bill would have required voters to show a picture i.d. in order to vote. for those who didn't have one, they would have to fill out a provisional ballot and prove their eligibility later on. this disproportionately hurts the elderly, poor, and students. obviously who tend to vote for democrats. north carolina is one of the many states across the country that have voter i.d. bills before the legislature. this is how the right wing is playing the game. remember to answer tonight's question right there at the bottom of the screen. i want to know what you think. the bipartisan talks on the debt ceiling came to an abrupt halt today in washington and house speaker boehner might have been thrown under the bus by his own party.
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one thing has never gone away during these months of squabbling over the budget -- the need for health care for every american. we'll tell you about a free clinic coming up in new orleans on august 29th. stay with us. you're watching "the ed show." hey. you haven't left yet. no. i'm boarding now... what's up? um...would you mind doing it again? last time. [ engine turns over ] oooohhhh...sweet. [ male announcer ] the chevy cruze with the my chevrolet app. the remote control car is finally here. well, now she's just playing with us. oh. [ horn honks ] we get double miles on every purchase, so me and my lads earned a trip to san francisco twice as fast! we get double miles every time we use our card... i'll take these two... ...no matter what we're buying. ...and all of those. and since double miles add up fast, we can bring the whole gang! it's hard to beat double miles! whoa dude.
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the house of representatives is expected to vote on a resolution tomorrow to limit the funding of military action in libya. congressional sources say the resolution has the votes to pass originally house leadership proposed two resolutions. one to continue the mission and one to end it. but after a closed door meeting yesterday, house speaker john boehner was forced to change course due to pressure from gop critics of conflict. congressman tim ronny of florida won out with a resolution that restricts funding but also allows for several loop holes. funds are permitted for search and rescue missions, surveillance, operational planning among other exceptions.
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the resolution doesn't have much chance in the senate where senators john kerry and john mccain have a bipartisan proposal supporting the mission that is likely to pass. meanwhile republicans walked out of the debt ceiling talks today. we'll tell you why that's bad news for the speaker, next. #
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good to have you back with us. negotiations over a deficit reduction deal were killed by house republicans today and in doing so eric canter left john boehner. i guess you could say holding a ticking time bomb. the house republican leader canter pulled out of the deficit talks led by vice president joe
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biden. canter announced on twitter regardless of the progress made the tax issue must be resolved before discussions can continue. the house doesn't support tax increases. by leaving the talks canter i guess you could say punted responsibility to house speaker john boehner who will have to work with president obama on a final deal. boehner needed to maintain a strong antitax stance today to appeal to the republican tea party base. he said tax increases on the super rich and on megacorporations are off the table. >> a tax hike cannot pass the u.s. house of representatives. it's not just a bad idea. it doesn't have the votes and it can't happen. >> but cuts alone won't make much of a dent on the deficit. federal reserve chairman ben bernanke says short-term spending cuts will actually harm the recovery and cost more jobs. the republican budget office agrees and says the best way to
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manage the national debt is to implement the obama health care plan and let the bush tax cuts expire. why didn't they do that back in december? here's a chart showing what would happen if the bush tax cuts are phased out. that's the blue line. the rising red line is what would happen to the national debt if we continue with our current tax policies and that's exactly what the republicans want. joining me tonight is "the washington post" columnist and msnbc political analyst ezra klein. great to have you with us tonight. >> thank you. >> what is -- why did canter walk out today? what, is this a stunt? he upset with boehner? was this the plan all along? what about it? >> he threw boehner and frankly the country's credit rating under the bus a little bit. boehner needed canter in there because canter is boehner's emissary to the tea party.
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if the deal had canter's approval boehner would be able to bring his conservatives along and wouldn't be the guy holding the bag for it. canter brought it to the final point. he got the spending cuts done. he said that the deal was going great. they had $2 trillion in spending cuts on the table, the administration, and then at the last minute releases this very weird statement. he doesn't say the negotiations have broken down. he says john boehner will have to be the one to handle the taxing. at the very last minute he pulls out and says i'm not going to be the guy to sign on to tax increases. now john boehner is stuck with the choice. does he let the debt ceiling cave in and the country go into an economic catastrophe or destroy his support among the tea party and open himself up to a challenge by eric canter down the road by being the guy who conceded to the democrats on tax increases? >> where is vice president biden on this? where is president obama on this? when it comes to holding the line to get more revenue into the treasury? are the democrats a step behind in this negotiation in your opinion? >> to a degree that surprised me a little bit what this implied is that they are holding the line.
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i had heard that revenues were not going to be a serious part of this deal and maybe they frankly still weren't and we're dealing with token revenues the republican party won't accept but the fact they've got canter walking and mcconnell and kyl screaming about tax increases suggests they were calling for significant tax increases. what was specifically under discussion today or supposed to be was a trigger that in 2014 if the budget isn't on a sustainable path we'd begin making either just spending cuts or spending cuts and also tax increases to force congress to revisit it. obviously republicans don't want taxes and the administration did and it looks like eric canter thought they'd stand firm on that. >> and, ezra, what about the drawdown? the announcement of drawdown of troops in afghanistan? i call it a troop shift. i don't think it's much of a drawdown and i don't believe it's going to have a huge impact on the budget. but expenses is the name of the game at this point. how does this play into it? does the troops drawdown afghanistan factor into these spending cuts at all?
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>> hugely. the congressional budget office says if you do a pretty reasonable draw down in iraq and afghanistan by 2015 you can save $1.4 trillion. now that isn't against what would actually be spent. it has to do with weird accounting rules in the cbo that they won't score your wars ending until you essentially pass legislation saying your wars are ending. but that was the spending cut the two sides could agree on because it would reduce the deficit in the eyes of the market and at the same time it was policy the obama administration wanted to implement anyway. >> how much progress do you think vice president biden has made in all of these talks? i mean, how close are we to a deal here? are we so close to a deal that canter walks out because he's afraid he's not going to be able to satisfy the base? >> we were very close to a deal from all accounts and people in both parties said what was happening in the room was very positive, that people were being more serious. they were being more thoughtful about it. they understood the issue as well. canter made sure the first sentence or two of his statement today to praise the vice president so biden has been
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doing a very good job running these negotiations. the question is whether or not the republican party can overcome its own internal dynamics and eventually support some level of revenues in the deal. what nobody quite knows is if they can't what's their end game? at some point either we'll stop sending out social security checks and then default on the debt or default on the debt and if we have to do this when the market is already panicking given this economy it's just going to be a disaster and a disaster for everyone particularly for republicans if they get blamed. >> "the washington post" ezra klein thanks for joining us tonight. good insight on all of this as always. thanks so much. >> thank you. congresswoman michele bachmann is picking up steam in the 2012 race. she is within spitting distance of mitt romney. in a new poll out in florida. three of the most opinionated talkers i know will join me to chime in on the republican field. it's a dandy. for the first time ever white babies make up less than half of all babies born in the united states. the face of america is still changing. next. ♪
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welcome back to "the ed show." for the first time ever most babies being born in the united states are nonwhite. nonhispanic white children under age 2 make up less than half according to the census bureau and other statistics. babies of a racial or ethnic minority when combined make up more than half. by the middle of this century racial and ethnic minorities
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will together become the majority in america and nonwhite hispanic whites will be in the minority. it's a huge shift happening and one that has been long predicted. just to give you an idea of how big a shift this is, 80% of seniors, 65 years of age or older, are white. 73% of americans age 45 to 64 are white. unfortunately, this is the kind of shift that causes fear among some americans. fear is about race and fear is about immigration. it helps perpetuate cruel laws against immigrants. there are even those who want to revoke birth right citizenship for some even though it's in the constitution. some people are afraid of change in this country but the truth is the only thing normal is change. a health care clinic from the national association of free clinics is coming to the city of new orleans, louisiana on august 29th.
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it's vitally important for a lot of people down there and we'll talk about it next. and rush limbaugh needs new material. he's back comparing president obama to hitler? buddy, you are in the zone. nothing helped me beat arthritis pain. until i tried this. it's salonpas. pain relief that works at the site of pain... up to 12 hours. salonpas. is best absorbed in small continuous amounts. only one calcium supplement does that in one daily dose. new citracal slow release... continuously releases calcium plus d for the efficient absorption my body needs. citracal. can be confusing... ♪ for most people, it's a game of chance. ♪ for dentists, the choice is clear. fact is, more dental professionals brush
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welcome back to "the ed show." the national association of free clinics is holding a free clinic in new orleans august 29th and we need your help. the donations made through msnbc over the past two years have helped stage these clinics and provide health care for those who simply have no health care at all. i've seen it first hand. it has been life saving in some instances. in february of last year back when i was doing the 6:00 hour i broadcast from a free clinic in connecticut. here is part of my report from the site after seeing first hand the personal devastation of some americans. you can't come to these free
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health clinics without being moved. and i don't know what they're doing in washington. i don't know what they're doing in the house and the senate. i know that there aren't any house members here and there aren't any senate members here. and i can tell you one piece of information here in the state of connecticut where the house and the senate passed universal health care for every citizen in connecticut and the governor vetoed it. the public option in this state overwhelmingly polls well but in washington joe lieberman not only is he not here tonight but he's against the public option and any kind of competition for the private sector. so as a broadcaster i'm confused. i don't understand the disconnect. but i did understand that lady today when she looked at me in the eye and said, i just want to thank you and msnbc for being
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here because if i didn't get this lump in my neck checked out i don't know what would have happened. now, americans, we can give all the analysis in the world about what happened in massachusetts. i'll tell you what's happening in massachusetts and it's happening here in connecticut and is going to happen all over the country. washington better get it. i don't care if you're a republican or democrat. if you don't do something, washington, to help the majority of americans who were seeing their insurance premiums go through the roof who have got a pre-existing condition and can't see a doctor because they can't get coverage, if you don't fix that, washington, all of you will be gone and they will hire the butcher, baker, candlestick maker. but wait a minute. we've got this new supreme court ruling that says the corporations can give unlimited money to the senators that want to deny the very people that came in this hall today. i don't need a script to tell
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you the truth. i saw it. and there is no politician here with ed and team from msnbc seeing it. oh, they hear 47 million don't have insurance and we got to fix this and we got to fix that. get down here with the folks who are standing in line to see a doctor. talk to the professionals in the medical profession who say, just a simple checkup could save hundreds of millions of dollars if we just have free clinics to help people so they can get some quick diagnosis. it almost makes you ashamed to say that, hey, america is a great place. we do a lot of things right in this country. we offer a lot of great opportunities to people in this country but somewhere along the line we have missed it totally when it comes to health care for all americans. and i can only remember the words that senator ted kennedy said when he was fighting for
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minimum wage on the senate floor. we asked the other side, what is it that you want? what is it that you want from these working men and women? what is it? why do you have such a disdain for the working people of america? how many more billions of dollars do you want? where is the line going to be drawn? but you see, we're in the age of apology. we're in the age if we say something that someone doesn't like oh, we have to run to a microphone and we have to apologize. who's apologizing for the condition for these americans? a doctor who is running this clinic today told me he said, ed, you know, a lot of americans swallow their pride to come in here and do this. it's hard for them. they've known work all their life and now they're in a middle aged crisis and they don't have a job and they've been out of work for 16 months and they
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don't want unemployment benefits. they want a job. and they don't have health care and it doesn't affect just the dad and the mom. it's the kids. it's the kids who get harassed at school because your dad doesn't have a job. you don't have health care? we have health care. we have two americas. now i'm sure i got to take a commercial break in a few minutes and we got to interview people. i could go on for hours on this. yes, i could go on for hours on this. because it matters to every american family. maybe more than anything else in our economy. i am a universal health care advocate. i believe that every american should have universal health care and i believe we could do it. we do have the right to a health care system that will definitely make our lives better. let's put the information up one more time. please remember that just how vital this is to the people who go to these free health care clinics because of your
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donations. the next one is going to be on august 29th in new orleans. it's a mission of msnbc to help out people. i'm going to be broadcasting from there on august 29th and i'm really looking forward to it. i want to know if things have gotten better in america since we passed the health care bill. we're not going to see it for a lot of americans. this is the story that we've got to keep out in front of america. and we will do it. and i appreciate your donations and that is how you can help us out tonight. rush limbaugh is ripping president obama's decision on afghanistan. he has no idea how military leadership works in this country or how much it actually costs. i'll explain. stay us with. the future of busi. in here, inventory can be taught to learn. ♪ machines have a voice. ♪ medical history follows you. it's the at&t network -- a network of possibilities... committed to delivering
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the most advanced mobile broadband experience to help move business... forward. ♪ welcome back to "the ed show." more evidence americans just cannot stand paul ryan's, the congressman from wisconsin, they can't stand his plan to turn medicaid into a voucher program. here is a new number that's out. a poll shows 57% of the people
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say they'd be worse off under ryan's plan. only 34% said they'd be better off. 55% said republican candidates are less attractive if they support the ryan medicare plan. as for ryan himself, a slight majority of people aren't sure what to make of him. but among those who do have an opinion on this guy, ryan had the third highest net unfavorable rating behind only sarah palin and newt gingrich. although he has a long way to go before he is disliked as much as those two. the bottom line here is, folks, the american people are clearly not buying paul ryan's disastrous medicare plan. ♪
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it's psycho talk tonight. rush limbaugh, well he's all worked up about president obama's decision to pull 33,000 troops out of afghanistan by the end of next summer. he called the president's address last night a campaign
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speech and then he brought the nazis into it. >> what better way to fire up the democrat base than to announce you intend to lose the war in afghanistan? that's what the democrat base wants so obama essentially says i'm out to lose and the democrat base is happy. they're all excited about it. you know, what do general petraeus and gates the defense secretary, what do they know? they were both opposed to obama when he made his gutsy call. don't you remember that? only obama knew how to go out and get bin laden. he is a pril yabrilliant guy ge bin laden and now a brilliant military strategist. hitler's generals tried to argue with him, too, fools. >> i think limbaugh is the fool here. apparently rush doesn't understand how civilian leadership works in this country. you see, our civilian president has the final say on military decisions and that's not a
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recent development, drugster. you see, you can't blame that one on progressives. it's in the constitution article 2 section 2 talks about civilian power over military. it says, the president shall be commander in chief of the army and navy of the united states. pretty straight forward. even rush should be able to understand it. and as for limbaugh's bizarre criticism of the president's decision to take out bin laden, it's not up for debate. bin laden is dead. president obama's decision was right. end of story. and whether or not rush agrees with the president's strategy in afghanistan, to compare him to hitler is ignorant. outrageous psycho talk. coming up, i'm bringing together a group of tv and radio folks to duke it out on the top stories of today. these guys always have something interesting to say. it's going to be a dandy. stay with us. [ female announcer ] kiss everything you know about cookies goodbye.
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democratic congressman barney frank teamed up with presidential candidate congressman ron paul today to make history. politically. they're about as far apart as you could possibly imagine but today they introduced a bill that would expand state rights by letting states legalize marijuana. ron paul of course is a libertarian. he couldn't get any other republicans to cosponsor. barney frank could only get a handful of democrats so the bill is not going to pass. but along with george schultz and paul volcker calling for an end to the war on drugs, the frank/paul bill could give momentum to legalizing efforts at the state levels. schultz and volcker made their position known around the same time the global commission on drug policy called the war on drugs a big failure. so why do we still have a war on
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drugs? here is a clue. the justice policy institute reports that private prison companies are spending millions to lobby and campaign for lawmakers to increase prison sentences. and what crime helps make america one of the top countries for the number of citizens behind bars? drugs. in a sea change -- is a sea change coming in the war on drugs? stay with us. we'll get some answers. we could've gone a more traditional route... ... but it wouldn't have been nearly as memorable. ♪ how it's made and how it keeps your pet healthy and active.
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welcome back to "the ed show." quite the discussion coming up. i just told you about congressman barney frank and ron paul reaching across the aisle on a very controversial bill to allow states to legalize marijuana. we'll see if my guests can come to a consensus on that story as well as some of the other big stories that we've been talking about this evening. let's go to nationally syndicated radio talk show host heidi harris with us tonight and also bill press. and hopefully they won't scrap it out because, bill, i think you probably would lose that one. bill is also the author of "toxic talk." how the radical right has poisoned america's airwaves. and we also have laura phelaners with us tonight the host of grit tv and free speech tv. always great to have all of you with us here tonight for this discussion. i want to go back. i have some friends from high school who smoked a lot of pot. and not to pick on them but
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they're like zombies today. i mean, the stuff that's in marijuana today i'm told is far worse than it was back in the '60s and '70s. why are we even thinking about legalizing marijuana? heidi harris, you first. is this a good or bad idea? >> i think it's a bad idea. now if the argument is made that if you legalize it that will reduce crime that's a stupid argument. i mean, they repealed prohibition and the last i heard there was still criminal activity in america. it may eliminate that crime but it's not going to eliminate other crime. i don't see the point. if you're a parent i don't know what you tell your child about pot if it becomes legal. i think it's a bad idea. >> what do you think, bill? >> i tell you what you tell your kids. you shouldn't be drinking alcohol. you shouldn't be smoking cigarettes. you shouldn't be smoking pot. at the same time, ed, i want to get on your list of friends of yours who smoked a lot of pot when they were in college because i did and i think i made out pretty well. it is not a gateway drug.
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it is, we spend too much money chasing people who are just using marijuana as a recreational drug. it's the number one cash crop in california. we make more money in california selling pot than selling grapes. all of that money is under the able and so i say legalize it. let the states do it which is what barney frank is saying, and ron paul, let the states do it and make some money on it. tax the hell out of it. >> laura flanders, would this pass in some states you think? >> yeah, i think it would and i think bill is generally right. i'm not a pot smoker. never have been. makes me incredibly dreary and asleep. but i think that what we're seeing around the country is police people saying this is insane. this is a rollercoaster of criminality, criminalizing all of the wrong people. sucking up the money we don't have. what we need to talk about in this country is treatment for drug, real drug abuse. we need to talk about how do we create jobs? this is to bring in some revenues, make our criminal
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justice system a little saner and fairer. let's remember. who is going to jail for marijuana when who is getting away for much more serious stuff down on wall street? >> i would agree with that. one other thing to think about is when you talk about how much marijuana you can have in your system there really hasn't been an established amount. thc can be in your system for much longer than it affects you so if you're going to test people for driving while under the influence or jobs which they do here in las vegas in the casinos i'm not sure if they figured that part of it out. if pot suddenly became legal that is a whole other issue. >> this is a policing issue. talk to the police. they will say there is a sane way to go about it and the way we're going right now is opposite of sane. >> there are a lot of serious drugs and crime out there and police are wasting their time, the first ones to tell you, she's right, chasing people who have a joint. give us a break. >> nobody goes to jail because
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they have one joint. all my pot friend are against legalizing pot. >> i'll go with that one. >> but i have had, in fairness, laura, people on my show who are police officers who are for repeal of the pot laws. so i understand there are people on both sides. i'm telling you people i know who are narcotics are not for it. >> we're also talking about getting rid of all regulations on all drugs, talking about rationalizing our system and not criminalizing the wrong folks and addressing the problem that isn't essentially a criminal problem but is creating a population problem. a problem of a slew of folks disproportionately in low income and people of color communities being criminalized for, well, things that other people are getting away with and it is affecting their entire lives and that is affecting our society. so this is the issue we have to deal with at the kory think, at the root. instead of just putting a band-aid on the problem that around the world people are
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saying this makes no sense. >> bill, i'm surprised you're in favor of it. you start smoking pot again legally you get the munchies, you'll be 400 pounds. you know how that stuff works. >> ouch. ouch. >> it's ban long ti ae's been ai had a joint ed but i enjoyed it when i used it. i'll be the first to admit it. >> let's get the take from all three of you on the president's speech last night, his announcement to draw down i say just a troop shift. i don't think it is an exit strategy. what is your take, heidi? >> i think it was a campaign speech to a certain extent. he started talking about infrastructure at the end. i don't know what it has to do with afghanistan. we have to make a decision. either we are in afghanistan and it is beneficial to us to be there because we can chase bad guys more easily in pakistan and that kind of thing or we'll try to nation build which you cannot do. nobody has ever been able to nation build in afghanistan and we won't be successful either. they'll never have anything that resembles democracy. if that is the goal let's get out now.
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>> if it were a campaign speech the president would have said this war is over now. that's what the american people want. it was a good speech. nowhere near enough. we ought to have at least 30,000 troops out this year and then that war ending tomorrow. heidi the reason the president talked about infrastructure is because we can't wait another three years to start nation building in america. we got to rebuild the bridges and the schools and highways here. and stop building thenl in afghanistan. >> he talked last night about ending the war responsibly. >> you can't spend a trillion dollars in afghanistan or a billion dollars a week and ignore the problems here at home. >> i agree. but you can't end the war responsibly any other way than victory. you don't responsibly end by just leaving. >> we've won. >> what is victory? >> let laura in. what is victory in afghanistan? >> we've drawn down responsibly many places many times and as you point out at the very beginning this is just a draw down to still more troops in the
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country than there were when barack obama took office. >> double. >> if you're going to talk about campaign speeches let's talk about where the country is. you've got 356% of -- 56% of americans polled this week saying they were for immediate withdrawal. that means in a responsible way over time obviously but complete withdrawal of all troops including i think it was 43% of all republicans, double what it was last year. if you're looking for votes you need to go much further than the president went. >> exactly. >> what about the money? what about the money? >> $3.3 billion a week. >> yeah. expenses alone would be enough for the president to step up and make the case to the american people, you know what? we might not be done but we got to save our economy. we're going to get the hell out of there. >> building up that civil society, we made promises about building that society. >> that's not going to happen.
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>> that's not even mentioned in the speech yesterday. that is a disappointment. >> let's save money in afghanistan and spend it in libya. that's what we're doing now. >> we want justice and peace in that country we're going to have to build up and help folks there actually survive. we made promises. we've got to stick with them or we'll see a back lash building, brewing even more strongly in pakistan than we have now. >> let me throw in two other points quickly. one, osama bin laden is in the morgue. how many ca hamid karzai is calling us trespassers and occupiers. that is a sign we have to get out fast. >> we have to get out. great to have you all with us tonight. thanks so much. and tonight our survey. i ask you, should unions punish new jersey democrats who are signing -- siding with governor chris christie? 94% of you said yes. 6% of you said no. that's "the ed show." i'm ed schultz. listen to my radio show at sirius

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